From car sharing to cash rebates: EV policy developments elsewhere in the U.S.


Connecticut wants to show California how it’sd one.

So says Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, in an interview with Auto News. Connecticut launched a rebate program for EVs earlier this year as one way to cut into greenhouse gas emissions. Industry leaders say they hope other states take notice. EV buyers can receive a max of $3,000 in extra savings on top of the federal tax credit. A small part of the statewide fund is set aside for dealerships to incentivize with some “cash on the hood” programs. Plus, dealers get to keep some of the rebate for every EV they sell, so they’re motivated to actually sell them. Photo by Russ Glasson via Flickr Creative Commons License

Nevertheless, Los Angeles continues to surge forward as a leader in EV-friendly policy, reaching it’s goal to have 50% all-electric city fleet a few years early. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will lease 160 EVs and 128 plug-in hybrids to be split among its police, fire and general service departments. Officials say they’re looking at about a 41% cut in operating costs after making this switch.

Photo by STERLINGDAVISPHOTO via Flickr Creative Commons License

LA’s idea hearkens back to an earlier idea out of Indianapolis, which aimed to add 425 EVs to the city’s fleet. While those plans ran into a few hiccups recently due to conflicts over contracting procedures, the EV-friendly Republican mayor Greg Ballard has continued to push for electric vehicles in middle America with the launch of Blue-Indy this month. It’s a city-wide electric vehicle car share program that’s starting with 50 vehicles and 25 charging stations. Eventually, they plan to expand to 500 vehicles. The mayor has said his motivations for promoting EVs include reducing dependence on foreign oil and increased transportation options for city residents.

Unlike LA, Indianapolis also isn’t a city known for green innovation, so media is calling it an “unlikely city” for such rapid EV expansion. But as the Transportation for America group writes:

“BlueIndy is a testament to what can happen in other perhaps less likely cities that have civic leadership committed to improving transportation options for their residents (and often visitors) by any means necessary.”